Health & Nutrition

October 19, 2010

Health and the pursuit of happiness

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In the videos below, Dean Ornish helps us understand the body’s ability to heal itself and how leading a healthy lifestyle can lead to more happiness in our lives.

Dean Ornish says your genes are not your fate, filmed March 2008
length: 3 minutes

In this presentation, Dean talks about how our lifestyles impact us at the genetic level and how we can make changes to improve our health and happiness. It’s amazing to learn that, “Walking for three hours per week for only three months caused so many neurons to grow that it actually increased the size of people’s brains.” He  provides us with a list of foods that can help us produce more brain cells, as well as those that can cause us to lose them.  He also details why changes in lifestyle matter and what the benefits are that these changes bring.

Dean Ornish on healing, filmed February 2004
length: 17 minutes

Here Dean highlights the different ways that the body works to heal itself once we make the changes necessary to allow it.  Health plays a crucial role in happiness and quality of life.

He helps us understand the difference between good and bad carbohydrates.  Bad carbs include, sugar, white flour, white rice, and alcohol.  Very low in fiber so you can consume large amounts without feeling full.  They are absorbed quickly causing a rapid rise in blood sugar, which provokes an insulin response and the calories are quickly converted into fat.  Good carbs come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and soy products.  These contain fiber which fills you up and prevents over-eating.  The fiber also slows absorption, which prevents a rapid rise in blood sugar ( for more information on whole grains see, 4 simple ways to eat more whole grains).

Since this was filmed in 2004 he spends a few minutes discussing the Atkin’s diet, which is less relevant today.

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